Age appropriate chores for children are so important! They help us to raise children that work hard and are not spoiled.
Children need chores. Age appropriate chores are important for kids! They make them feel needed and helpful. They teach responsibility. They are important. If your children learn to help now, you will have children that will be able to work later, allowing them the ability to work hard and keep a job, or work hard to keep their marriage strong. Teach them to work hard now – and do it for the Glory of the one who made them.
As hard as it is, do not do everything for your children! Let them do what they can.
Remember the quote: fish for me & feed me for a day…. teach me to fish & feed me for a lifetime. (unknown source) How true with our children!
Before I begin with our list, you need to know that your children were not born knowing how to do these chores. You must walk them through it, teach them how you want it done. Do this with each chore until you have gone through them all (just do one or two a day).
Our chores are listed on index cards & placed in a basket.
The basket is in a place that they can reach it (we keep our in our pantry). When it is “time to do your chores”, they grab the basket themselves & bring it to the table. They close their eyes, reach in and pick from this basket…
The 3 and 4 year old will pick out one chore.
A 5-6 year old will pick out two chores.
A 7-8 year old would pick out two-three chores.
THE CHORES ON THE CARDS IN OUR BASKET INCLUDE: (Remember, make your bed/clean your room/empty the dishwasher … are not CHORES. They are daily responsibilities. They are not on this list, because they are habits. We do them daily)
I have to point out that we don’t do these every day. During the school year, our kids are BUSY, so we do just one a day. We do a few on the weekend and in the summertime, but during the school year, they have homework and sports.
- Clean the shutters behind the kitchen table (their food gets on these from their sticky hands!)
- Clean out everything UNDER your bed.
- Wipe bathroom sink and vanity in main bathroom & their bathroom.
- Clear & clean the table after dinner
- Sweep hallway upstairs with broom & dustpan
- Put away ALL shoes in garage by the door (we have 3 spots for shoes – they each have their own baskets at these places, so its easy to do & takes a second to put them away)
- Clean the outside of the toilet (bottom too) in those same bathrooms.
- “I love you- pick another chore, please!” (this is on 2 cards, just for a reminder)
- Sweep the kitchen floors
- Sweep the hallway upstairs
- Clean out the van (bring in all garbage, coats, shoes…) – I do this same chore on 3 cards, so they could even both get them & do it together. Its a big job.
- Empty all garbage in the bathrooms and their bedroom into one big garbage bag (getting garbage from all cans)
- Bring the garbage can up from the street after the garbage truck comes (it might be heavy to take it down while it is filled, but even our four year old can bring it up for us when it is empty… and we have a steep driveway).
- Clean the steps with a broom and then a damp rag (wooden steps). If you have carpet- have them use a damp sponge to get the dirt or pet hair if you have a pet. Have them use a small vacumn if you have one (the tiny kind for steps & small areas)
- Pick up everything on pantry floors (our art supplies are in there, so coloring books and crayons end up on the floors a lot)
- Sweep the front porch
- Sweep the back porch
- Dust furniture in the room that mom or dad pick (they use a sock on their hands)
- Pick up toys (even if you didn’t make the mess!) on the living room floor
- Organize the mud room bench (see make a mudroom bench to see how we made it) – they hang up coats, put shoes in the right baskets, hang up their backpacks under the correct name…I made this chart for you – you can print it here: CHORES BY AGE
** Keep reading for younger kids chores…
For a 3 year old… Our 3 year old would usually pull out a chore card, but I would make up one since he couldn’t read it. I would say something like “go pick up the blankets and put them away.” Or “Pick up the pillows on the floor”. Something easy and safe that he can do without help.
That’s it- Our older children get 3 chores a day in the summer and two chores a day during the school year. We used to give an extra chore for complaining, but we no longer do this because they have since become very proud of their work and they seem to enjoy helping and like to show us how well they’ve done. They like being a part of what helps to keep everything going and they see that when they help us do chores, we all have more time to play together.
We also have “daily responsibilities”. These are done on a daily basis. These include: Make bed, clean up room, clean up after every meal- just your stuff (plates, napkins, cups) , put clothes away (I put them into their own baskets & they are waiting for them by their dressers), unload the dishwasher with me, get dressed before you go downstairs in the morning on school days, brush teeth & use mouthwash. These are not chores- they are done ON TOP of their “picked” chores.
I hope that helped you to create some age Appropriate chores for kids. I would LOVE to hear what chores you have your children do in your house!! I am always revisiting our chores and editing them to their ages.
If you are debating chores because it is as much work to get your kids to help you as it is to just do it yourself, I want to encourage you to read this post – STOP doing that for your kids.
Do you want to see more kid ideas? My favorite kid ideas below….
- Here is the way that we teach our kids to clean their rooms… without reminding them!